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Great Leaders and Decisive Moments in Zionist History

In this course, we will study Zionist history during the crucial century from the founding of the modern movement to create a Jewish state in 1897 through the mid-1990’s. We shall do so through examining eight great leaders: Theodor Herzl, who convened the First Zionist Congress; Chaim Nachman Bialik, poet laureate of Zionism; Ze’ev Jabotinsky, founder and leader of Revisionist Zionism; David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s founding prime minister; Golda Meir, a key figure in establishing the state; Abba Eban, Israel’s most remarkable diplomat; Menachem Begin, Jabotinsky’s successor and a prime minister who left an enduring legacy; and Yitzhak Rabin, who as prime minister sought to secure peace with Israel’s neighbors.

In each session, we will look at how a particular leader addressed a situation calling for a strategic decision and bold action. We shall do so through careful study of a great speech that leader gave, alongside the circumstances that made that moment so decisive and the consequences of the leader’s words and actions. In the ninth session, we will draw lessons on oratory, leadership, and nation building.

Takes place Wednesdays, 1:30-2:45 PM

On Zoom: Nov 9, Nov 23, Dec 7, Jan 4, Jan 18, Feb 1, Feb 15 (Make Up Class)

In Person: Nov 4, Dec 30, Feb 10

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